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themetallikid

Single vs Dual amp path channel volume matching

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Ok, so I have about 6 'core' sounds and their lead counterparts I'm happy with. 

 

I much prefer to run my shows using a Song/preset with snapshots making any changes for parts of songs.  Core presets are great for random audibles on stage I don't have a preset for or learning songs.

 

However, of course some songs require a Clean/Dirty arrangement, which I usually will setup on Path 1A & 1B.  But this brings a few questions that I seem to have been able to self teach how to get around...however I want to know I'm doing it the 'right' way or maybe I can do something more efficient.

 

1) The split point when created starts as a crossover, which I change to the A/B split, and then pan 100% towards whichever amp I want on that snapshot, usually clean>A, dirty>B, then they rejoin (no changes made here). 

2) My core presets are balanced nice between them, however when I create the dual presets I get different volumes which need to be adjusted to match the single amp presets.  Now, there are a few questions I have under this topic...

          2a) I assume that the 'Channel Volume' creates the same increases/decreases across all amp models.  So the difference in changing from 3-5, is the same output difference as 5-7....on all amp models.  Now I understand (please don't me up on this point) that gain structure/Master volume and such will affect possibly the loudness of the amp block at different Channel Volume settings.  I have some amps that are loud at 5.5, and some that have to be near 9 to be equal....I get that part.  But looking to verify, that if I move one amp from 3-5, that the other amp could be moved 5-7, and it would be the same or is that getting messed with the equation of the gain/master settings?

          2b) Is there a 'standard' adjustment I should make when splitting my signal to keep the preset volume equal to the other presets and retain my mix between amp types?  If I have clean at 6.5, and dirty at 7.5....can I move both up 1.5 notches to 8/9 respectively to keep the same mix, but just raise the preset volume?

          2c) if 2b is applicable, is there a way to do this at the split or return points so I can keep the amp blocks at the same levels as the singular amp preset settings.  That way when I have to adjustments or tweak things I don't have the same amp at potential 2 or more channel volume settings and get confused.  This is where I start to go mad over time.  I hear things I don't like and I tweak one songs settings, but then that amp doesn't match other presets that have the same amp sound and then my volumes start to get out of whack as I make adjustments and I ultimately start over in frustration.  So if I can keep the channel volumes the same and adjust it elsewhere or make a uniform adjustment on each amp type for single/dual presets then I'd like t know how. 

 

 

Thank you for your time, you gurus are always great.

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no help?  

 

I'm really just looking for how to compensate best when I split a preset into two paths....so that I can just drop in my amps and then adjust somewhere else to get it back to matching the single amp presets. 

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I think the reason you're not getting a lot of feedback is that you seem to be trying to go from New York to Los Angeles by way of Cairo Egypt.

As best I can gather from your original post it sounds like you're trying to use a dual amp setup for a Clean/Dirty arrangement which normally isn't really necessary as you can typically do that fine with a single amp.  However, I myself have a few presets in which the dynamics and tones are such that I really need a big contrast in tone and feel which necessitates a dual amp/cab setup using a snapshot to move between the two in clean/overdriven manner.

 

In my case it's a very simple setup using Path 1A for the clean path (based on a Soldano Clean) which then links through at the end block to Path 2A for the overdriven setup (using a Marshall Plexi Bright).  There are several reasons for doing it this way the primary of which is to allocate the two different amps and their associated IRs across the two different DSP chips so I have plenty of memory.  In this case it's a simple turning off and on of the different blocks associated with the clean versus overdriven sounds in each snapshot.  But because they're linked together through a single path (1A and 2A) I can share blocks like compressors and effects between them.  Because of the arrangement managing the volume between the two is quite simple since I mainly just adjust the individual amp channel volumes since it doesn't affect the tone.

That's my approach which it seems like it accomplishes what you're wanting to accomplish unless I'm missing something.

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On 3/23/2019 at 8:53 AM, themetallikid said:

Ok, so I have about 6 'core' sounds and their lead counterparts I'm happy with. 

 

I much prefer to run my shows using a Song/preset with snapshots making any changes for parts of songs.  Core presets are great for random audibles on stage I don't have a preset for or learning songs.

 

However, of course some songs require a Clean/Dirty arrangement, which I usually will setup on Path 1A & 1B.  But this brings a few questions that I seem to have been able to self teach how to get around...however I want to know I'm doing it the 'right' way or maybe I can do something more efficient.

 

1) The split point when created starts as a crossover, which I change to the A/B split, and then pan 100% towards whichever amp I want on that snapshot, usually clean>A, dirty>B, then they rejoin (no changes made here). 

2) My core presets are balanced nice between them, however when I create the dual presets I get different volumes which need to be adjusted to match the single amp presets.  Now, there are a few questions I have under this topic...

          2a) I assume that the 'Channel Volume' creates the same increases/decreases across all amp models.  So the difference in changing from 3-5, is the same output difference as 5-7....on all amp models.  Now I understand (please don't me up on this point) that gain structure/Master volume and such will affect possibly the loudness of the amp block at different Channel Volume settings.  I have some amps that are loud at 5.5, and some that have to be near 9 to be equal....I get that part.  But looking to verify, that if I move one amp from 3-5, that the other amp could be moved 5-7, and it would be the same or is that getting messed with the equation of the gain/master settings?

          2b) Is there a 'standard' adjustment I should make when splitting my signal to keep the preset volume equal to the other presets and retain my mix between amp types?  If I have clean at 6.5, and dirty at 7.5....can I move both up 1.5 notches to 8/9 respectively to keep the same mix, but just raise the preset volume?

          2c) if 2b is applicable, is there a way to do this at the split or return points so I can keep the amp blocks at the same levels as the singular amp preset settings.  That way when I have to adjustments or tweak things I don't have the same amp at potential 2 or more channel volume settings and get confused.  This is where I start to go mad over time.  I hear things I don't like and I tweak one songs settings, but then that amp doesn't match other presets that have the same amp sound and then my volumes start to get out of whack as I make adjustments and I ultimately start over in frustration.  So if I can keep the channel volumes the same and adjust it elsewhere or make a uniform adjustment on each amp type for single/dual presets then I'd like t know how. 

 

 

Thank you for your time, you gurus are always great.

 

I think it's easy for posts to get buried. In my case I tend to skip over what looks like a full Helix post since I'm a Stomp/Native user, even though I think a lot of the time I can see a solution that works I often assume that maybe a full Helix user has a better idea available. 

 

In the case of your question, my first recommendation would be to just use the channel volume on the amp model as DunedinDragon said above. That's precisely why it's there as it's a level control that doesn't impact tone. As a Stomp user, blocks are at a premium, so this is almost always the approach I take. 

 

However, it sounds like you want to keep the preset amps rather uniform?  Is this for cutting and pasting possibilities?  

 

If that's the case, and assuming that blocks aren't a problem for you, then I'd just insert a volume block before or immediately after each amp and tweak those to get them where you want to be.


I've also seen people have presets stored separately of their favorite amp blocks. That's too much work for me, but it is another method. 

 

Now, the challenge of having all presets have the same DB in one setting, then another, then in between them - as far as I know there is no easy way to do this (and in my opinion, is largely a lost cause - so don't let yourself fall down that rabbit hole), nor is there some formula that all of the Helix models subscribe to so that you can know that all amps of type X can be moved down X amount with the same result . . . the person who figures out some magic shortcut here will be mega rich (not just from a performance perspective, movies, radio, streaming . . .). 

 

Ultimately, there's more than one way to accomplish what you want. It comes down to which method you personally prefer. 

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Your right it does...However I usually don't have enough horizontal blocks in 1A to be able to accomplish that (on most presets, on some I can, but then again, I run into the OCD inconsistency of presets needing to be set to different levels to be 'matched, which I'm trying to avoid to simplify tweaking to smooth out things I hear live). 

 

I may be able to utilize the 1-2 spaces I have (horizontally) on paths 1-2A and spread it out, but I honestly don't think its an approach I can apply over all 60+ presets I have. 

 

The ones that I run into this issue the most are going to be songs like Every Rose-Poison, Crazy Train-Ozzy, Slither-Velvet Revolver.  3 different scenarios where utilizing the '1B' path is necessary for different reasons.  Every Rose - Clean/Gritty/Crunch/Lead tones all needed (use 2 amps, each with their own OD in front to take the Clean/Dirty amps to the next level), Crazy Train - I have duplicates of my lead blocks (OD/Script Phase/EQ) one set for my Lead Snapshot and one set attached to a Momentary Stomp, Slither is a similar issue to Crazy Train, I have a stomp attached to all my lead block additions, as well as another set attached to my Exp pedal/Wah as the whole solo is utilizing the wah.  (on that note, my wah is actually 2 blocks....OD-Valve Drive/Wah simultaneously as it just makes the wah that much more aggressive sounding). 

 

So I get in most peoples setups your scenario makes sense and all...but for me to take the single amp versions I have as my core presets and implement them into Song specific ones and need to rematch volume from the signal splits...it doesn't work for me. 

 

I just need to know that if my core presets have the channel volumes on say 5.0, when I make a dual path and split the signal to an A/B path...how do I compensate and where so that when I hear something that needs to be adjusted live, its easier to know that my amp should be on 5.0 (or whatever that amp is set to) as opposed to 2 different numbers. 

 

I know its complicated to ask, but it should be a simple answer. 

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5 minutes ago, Kilrahi said:

 

I think it's easy for posts to get buried. In my case I tend to skip over what looks like a full Helix post since I'm a Stomp/Native user, even though I think a lot of the time I can see a solution that works I often assume that maybe a full Helix user has a better idea available. 

 

In the case of your question, my first recommendation would be to just use the channel volume on the amp model as DunedinDragon said above. That's precisely why it's there as it's a level control that doesn't impact tone. As a Stomp user, blocks are at a premium, so this is almost always the approach I take. 

 

However, it sounds like you want to keep the preset amps rather uniform?  Is this for cutting and pasting possibilities?   

 

If that's the case, and assuming that blocks aren't a problem for you, then I'd just insert a volume block before or immediately after each amp and tweak those to get them where you want to be.


I've also seen people have presets stored separately of their favorite amp blocks. That's too much work for me, but it is another method. 

 

Now, the challenge of having all presets have the same DB in one setting, then another, then in between them - as far as I know there is no easy way to do this (and in my opinion, is largely a lost cause - so don't let yourself fall down that rabbit hole), nor is there some formula that all of the Helix models subscribe to so that you can know that all amps of type X can be moved down X amount with the same result . . . the person who figures out some magic shortcut here will be mega rich (not just from a performance perspective, movies, radio, streaming . . .). 

 

Ultimately, there's more than one way to accomplish what you want. It comes down to which method you personally prefer. 

 

 

"However, it sounds like you want to keep the preset amps rather uniform?  Is this for cutting and pasting possibilities?" - yes... I typically have to take my 'Crunch' preset and then add my clean blocks in as needed to get that sound for the song.  and when I do, the amp levels do not match my single amp presets.  The settings are the same, but there is a noticeable output difference.  So single amp channel volume may be at 5.0, but to match volumes with a dual amp preset it might have to be 7.6 for the dirty amp.  However (my other question I asked if its uniform across all amp models) is that for my clean it might be a difference of 5.0/8.7. 

 

so its hard to consistently know which amp/setting needs to be where when its copied pasted.  If I could adjust the volume matching somewhere else that makes sense it would make tweaking later when I hear something that's off easier than having to decipher the ch volumes

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I'm not trying to be overly OCD about this stuff....I had the same issues with Fractal/Boss units as well. 

 

So there when paths 1/2 are split, there isn't a for sure remedy to restore the volume difference?   3db, 6db??  That's really what I'm looking for....I was just trying to tie it into the Amp Blocks CH. VOL parameter but it doesn't have to be.

 

LIke you said could be remedied by a gain/volume block as well.  I'll have to some experimenting.  Thanks for the help anyway. 

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1 hour ago, themetallikid said:

I'm not trying to be overly OCD about this stuff....I had the same issues with Fractal/Boss units as well. 

 

So there when paths 1/2 are split, there isn't a for sure remedy to restore the volume difference?   3db, 6db??  That's really what I'm looking for....I was just trying to tie it into the Amp Blocks CH. VOL parameter but it doesn't have to be.

 

LIke you said could be remedied by a gain/volume block as well.  I'll have to some experimenting.  Thanks for the help anyway. 

 

The only thing I'm aware of is that when you split the paths, my understanding is that the volume of each drops by 3db so that when they're merged the overall volume is about the same. 

 

Considering you're not merging them but going back and forth between them, you might try a 3 db increase on each path. 

 

Edit:  I'm going off memory here, but it may be that the merge block has a volume level. That would even save you a block. 

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Thats sort of what I was trying to find out.  I know on my path 2 A&B where I run dual IR's and both are active all the time the output levels are higher than a single IR so that makes sense.  But with only running 1A or 1B, it would make sense its 3db (or whatever number)...I just need to find a different way then of adjusting for that output difference than using the Ch. Volume on the amp block then. 

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Maybe I don't understand what you are doing but, can't you just use the output block volume to adjust between different patches?

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well yes, but for my preset OCD'ness and to help facilitate changes I hear when I play them live with the band....I dont want to have 4+ different output volume values to remember where they 'should' be.  

 

What I was asking was this...I'll try to simplify my question (for those with the same question).....though I believe I have it figured out.

 

single amp presets

7 single amp presets, all volume matched (enough for live use and no surprises during lead boosts)

 

dual amp presets (for live use using a song per preset approach, utilizing snapshots for verse/chorus/lead etc)

Intro/Chorus/Lead = Crunch preset........Verse = Clean preset

 

In the dual amp preset, even though I copy the Crunch Lead Preset utilizing a volume matched Amp block to the Clean preset (I use the 'lead version so all my solo goodies are copied over when I create the Song Preset, no changes in the amp block settings are made, and when I disable the EQ/Drive/Delay/Volume blocks, i'm left with my Crunch preset)...when I split the signal and have an A/B patch that is selected via snapshot.....the overal preset volume is lower than presets that do not have the split signal (dual amps).  

 

It makes sense above that when its split, the Helix is assuming you are using both paths and not muting one of them....so it drops the volume on the paths to compensate for the extra signal path's volume.  So in order to not have multiple versions of the same amp block sound or multiple output block settings to remember...I was wondering where and what the best place was to make a change so that my 'settings in the blocks' can remain the same, but I can compensate for this volume difference.  When I go from a single amp preset to a dual amp preset that has always been where my volume issues have come from...and I understand it now, how to adjust and compensate for what the Helix is doing signal wise.  

 

****answer****  I can adjust the merge block to compensate the volume of the preset and leave my block settings the same that way there should be no difference in volume single vs. dual....however if there is, I can adjust that one parameter and it will be easier to be consistent with my edits. 

 

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On 5/19/2019 at 9:28 AM, themetallikid said:

****answer****  I can adjust the merge block to compensate the volume of the preset and leave my block settings the same that way there should be no difference in volume single vs. dual....however if there is, I can adjust that one parameter and it will be easier to be consistent with my edits. 

 

^ This is correct

 

I was curious myself about the split/merge effect on signal level as well.  I wanted to make sure my gain staging wasn't being affected. I recently did some tests by placing a 3 Note Generator at the beginning of the path to get a constant signal level which I then measured with Audacity's signal meters on the computer (connected via 1/4" stereo outs through an audio interface).  I also used send blocks on each path (1A and 1B) to measure the signal level in the path.  This is from memory and I will come back and edit later when I confirm:

  • Split A/B doesn't affect signal level.
    For example, in path A, "Even Split" and "A100" produce the same signal level in Path A.  Likewise "Even Split" and "B100" produce the same signal level in Path B.  A setting of A50 means 100% signal to Path A and 50% signal to Path B.  A setting of B75 means 100% signal to Path B and 25% signal to path A.
  • Send Blocks (and 1/4" Mono Out) add +3dB to the signal level.
    I guess because that is what happens when you sum stereo to mono?  I had to do -3dB on the send blocks so that my results made sense.
  • The merge block adds from -3dB to 0dB to the signal level.
    That's -3dB for A100/B100 and 0dB for "Even Split".  So in your case, you are correct.  Add +3dB of gain in the merge block for each path.

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On 3/23/2019 at 10:53 AM, themetallikid said:

 I assume that the 'Channel Volume' creates the same increases/decreases across all amp models.  So the difference in changing from 3-5, is the same output difference as 5-7....on all amp models. 

 

You can't assume this at all. Even if the output level control is entirely linear, the dB curve and perceived loudness are not.... not even close. dB meters are often waved around as the be-all, end-all in these volume leveling discussions, but even that will only get you in the ballpark. There is exactly one way to reliably match volumes of different patches: Use your ears, and adjust accordingly. You will waste countless hours trying to develop some sort of universal formula to apply to every patch you create.

 

The only tools you need are on either side of your head. A mathematical shortcut doesn't exist. 

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2 hours ago, jonandtice said:
  • Split A/B doesn't affect signal level.
    For example, in path A, "Even Split" and "A100" produce the same signal level in Path A.  Likewise "Even Split" and "B100" produce the same signal level in Path B.  A setting of A50 means 100% signal to Path A and 50% signal to Path B.  A setting of B75 means 100% signal to Path B and 25% signal to path A.
  • Send Blocks (and 1/4" Mono Out) add +3dB to the signal level.
    I guess because that is what happens when you sum stereo to mono?  I had to do -3dB on the send blocks so that my results made sense.
  • The merge block adds from -3dB to 0dB to the signal level.
    That's -3dB for A100/B100 and 0dB for "Even Split".  So in your case, you are correct.  Do -3dB of gain in the merge block for each path. 

I don't have any fancy gear to legitimately test it, lol.....I did change my terminology as there are more than one way to run 'dual amps' so what we are referring to are dual path presets vs single path presets. 

 

But if I hear you correctly (for simplicity sake):

 

Single Path signal strength  = 'X'

Single Path preset output = 'Y'

 

Dual Path preset signal strength:  split A/B 100 (using as an amp selector on different paths) = 'X'

Dual Path preset signal strength: split A/B 100 @ merge block when rejoined = 'Y-3db' 

 

So to fix this signal split/merge issue, at the merge point, we would need to add +3db to get it equal 'Y'??

 

 

 

          

 

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3 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

You can't assume this at all. Even if the output level control is entirely linear, the dB curve and perceived loudness are not.... not even close. dB meters are often waved around as the be-all, end-all in these volume leveling discussions, but even that will only get you in the ballpark. There is exactly one way to reliably match volumes of different patches: Use your ears, and adjust accordingly. You will waste countless hours trying to develop some sort of universal formula to apply to every patch you create.

 

The only tools you need are on either side of your head. A mathematical shortcut doesn't exist. 

 

I agree, and for the sake of leveling presets, I generally will only use a signal meter to get me in the 'ballpark' but then use my ears as I'm aware that differently EQ'd presets will not sound matched when the outputs are the same...I can compensate for that.

 

In fact that is what my 'core' presets have already had done.  Where I was trying to lead my questioning and discussion was more so that when I take my core sounds (that I'm very happy with) and make them into song specific presets that utilize a dual path....even utilizing the same block parameters yields different volumes when comparing single vs dual path presets using the same settings.  

 

My statement about the Ch. Volume parameter was just a question about it being even across the amps as I know it doesn't affect tone, in the same way that the gain/master combinations do....and how that varies between amp models. 

 

I don't expect a 'fix all' method to presets...been around the modeling thing too long to expect it to be that easy.....but there is some 'under the hood' stuff that knowing can definitely save you some pulling out of your hair (I don't have much left anymore, and what I do have is reserved for pulling out in regards to my 3 year old princess, lol)  when trying to maintain consistency across 60+ presets. 

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22 hours ago, themetallikid said:

I don't have any fancy gear to legitimately test it, lol.....I did change my terminology as there are more than one way to run 'dual amps' so what we are referring to are dual path presets vs single path presets. 

 

But if I hear you correctly (for simplicity sake):

 

Single Path signal strength  = 'X'

Single Path preset output = 'Y'

 

Dual Path preset signal strength:  split A/B 100 (using as an amp selector on different paths) = 'X'

Dual Path preset signal strength: split A/B 100 @ merge block when rejoined = 'Y-3db' 

 

So to fix this signal split/merge issue, at the merge point, we would need to add +3db to get it equal 'Y'??

 

 

 

          

 

I had an error in the post which I edited.  To put in in your terms:

Given:
X = Input signal level
Y = Output signal level (or anywhere after the merge block)

 

Where:
Split A/B = A100

Path A = X
Path B = 0dB
Y = X - 3dB

 

Where:
Split A/B = Even Split

Path A = X
Path B = X
Y = X

Also note, this is taking the amps out of the equation so that all things are equal from input to output.

So yes, you would add +3dB to each path on the merge block to make Y = X.  Hope that helps.

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